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2004 Jan 12 - Rusedski wins in Sydney

Greg Rusedski was able to put aside his off-court troubles today as he won in straight sets 7-6(1) 7-6(5) against Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina in the first round of the adidas International in Sydney, Australia.

In the first set there was tension on display as Greg dropped his serve immediately, but undeterred his tactics of rushing the net at every opportunity finally paid-off at 2-3 as he broke back. At 5-5 with Greg serving he was forced to save four break points to take a 6-5 lead. After a hold of serve by Juan we were into a tie-break which saw Greg only drop the first point before taking the next seven to run away with the set.

The second started as the first set ended, with Greg on top, as he immediately broke Juan and led 2-0. The nerves kicked in at 5-4, as Greg was serving for the set, and he gave back the advantage break for 5-5. Juan then held for 6-5 forcing Greg to hold serve to take the match to a tie-break. It should have been more comfortable, but the Argentine earned himself two set points which Greg was able to recover with some big serving. It was 6-6 and a more competitive tie-break followed - the score hit 5-5, but Greg served big to earn a match point and then closed out the match in good style to an appreciative Australian crowd.

After the match an extremely relieved and content Greg Rusedski said:

"I have had so much overwhelming support from my family, from my friends, from the fans - it has been great.

"Everyone has been extremely supportive, that is what I draw my strength from. There is a lot of English people in the crowd who are supporting me and dealing with the situation. They have been just fantastic.

"The support has been brilliant so thumbs up for their support out there."

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